DEFENDING TRACK CHAMPION CORY CASAGRANDE SET TO MOVE UP TO LATE MODEL DIVISION FOR 2013 SEASON AT STAFFORD SPEEDWAY
(Stafford Springs, CT)---After winning the Limited Late Model championship in 2012 at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs native Cory Casagrande will make the move up the Stafford ladder into the Late Model division for the 2013 season. Casagrande will have Shark Cycle of Stafford Springs returning as his primary sponsor, and while a new division often presents a new set of challenges for any driver, Casagrande has shown that he is a quick study when it comes to Stafford.
Casagrande made his Stafford Speedway debut in the DARE Stock division for the 2010 season, and he ended the season fifth in points with 3 wins, 12 top-5, and 15 top-10 finishes. Casagrande took down his first win in only his fourth start of DARE Stock competition and the following season saw him move into the Ltd. Late Model division. In his first year of Ltd. LM competition, Casagrande won 3 times and finished 7th in the points. The 2012 season saw Casagrande win 5 times and he finished on the podium in 17 of the 18 Ltd. LM races this season, but he is quick to point out that he doesn’t expect to repeat that success right away in the Late Model division.
“The Late Model car is going to take a lot of getting used to,” said Casagrande. “There’s a lot of strong drivers in the Late Model division and guys like Tom Butler, Woody Pitakt, Jim Peterson, and Ryan Posocco, they’ve all been doing it forever. I’ve seen how hard it is for guys to get a win in that division. There’s some guys like Dillon Moltz who are able to catch on pretty quick and there are some guys who take a long time to get the hang of it. Hopefully we can be like Dillon and get a win at some point this year, but we’ll have to see how things go for us.”
Casagrande will have a familiar car with him as he prepares to make his bid for 2013 SPAFCO Rookie of the Year honors. Casagrande and his team are in the process of changing their championship winning Ltd. Late Model car to meet current Late Model rules, which should aid Casagrande in his learning process as he makes the transition.
“We changed a few suspension pieces and rear end parts, BFR helped take care of that for us, it wasn’t a big deal,” said Casagrande. “We sold our Limited engine to Austin Bessette and we have a new engine coming from R.A.D. Automachine, so I’m pretty excited about the season. You need to have good equipment and we do everything we can to make the car as fast as we can. I’ll have to get used to having a 3-link rear end in the car and this will be the first time I’ve raced a car that has a panhard or track bar in the car, so that is something else for me and my crew chief Shawn Hosey to get used to. There’s more options on the car for us to make adjustments to.”
Casagrande will look to come to grips with the various changes he can make to the car as quickly as he can in order to be counted among the front runners this season.
“The first couple of practices are going to be big for me,” said Casagrande. “We’re planning on renting the track before the season and doing everything we can to get me comfortable in the car. This year for me is going to be like the student racing against the teachers. Woody Pitakt and Ryan Posocco have both taught me a lot and it’s going to be weird to be racing against them now. They both took my car out during practice and said it was pretty similar to their cars, so I just have to get used to about 50 more horsepower and some different suspension stuff. We hope we can win Rookie of the Year this season, but our main focus is to be a competitive car with the top guys. I have the same crew from last year so I’m really excited about the year and looking forward to getting started. I don’t really get nervous until we’re lined up on the backstretch waiting to go out onto the track.”
Casagrande will kick off his rookie campaign in the Late Model division with the 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on April 26-28. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” may be ordered by calling the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is $42.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.
For more information on the 42nd Annual CARQUEST TECH-NET Spring Sizzler®, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.